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Unconventional Freehand Irezumi from Caio Pinerio

Unconventional Freehand Irezumi from Caio Pinerio

Tattoo Artists1 min Read

Caio Pinerio traditional Japanese style tattoos are sometimes not so traditional.

Though he is capable of executing classical Irezumi, much of Caio Pinerio's body of work features tattoos that push the boundaries of the traditional Japanese style. Pinerio is quite skilled at rendering old school Irezumi, with its ribbed black backgrounds and brightly colored figures like the Foo Dog with with its intense stare and vibrant spots. However, his pieces that completely eschew backgrounds and indulge in vibrant illustration are arguably the most compelling.   

It's wonderful how Pinerio has completely redacted the conventional backgrounds from his figures from the traditional Japanese canon. Surrounded by only negative space, his classic iconography such as the dragon, daruma dolls, maneki-neko (the waving cat) and sakura (cherry blossoms) all stand out in their intensity.

Pinerio's masks and severed heads make for great busts. Above we see an excellent samurai example of a namakubi with blood trickling from his mouth and a pairing of Hyottoko - the silly face - and Okame masks. His takes on Hannya and Tengu masks are equally astounding.

A bold and unconventional Irezumi crane tattoo by Caio Pinerio (IG—caiopineiro). #borderless #crane #CaioPinerio #Irezumi #sun #unconventional

We hope you found Pinerio's unconventional Irezumi as interesting and beautiful as we did. If you want to see more of his work, check out his Instagram. He tattoos on tour in Germany, Great Britain, and Brazil, so if you're near one of those countries and want some fantastic traditional Japanese work, reach out to his at

Ross Howerton
Written byRoss Howerton

BA in Literary Studies from The New School. MFA in Creative Writing from NMSU. Staff Writer for Tattoodo. I love art, books, movies, music, and video games. Hit me up on Twitter @Powertonium

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